14 people still missing after plane crash in Comoros

Plane was heading to Zanzibar and crashed with 12 passengers and 2 pilots onboard

A Cessna Caravan, similar to the one that crashed off the Comoros with 14 people on board on Saturday. The plane was registered in Tanzania. PHOTO | FILE

Twelve passengers including two pilots were reportedly onboard a single-engine airplane that went down on Saturday, off the coast of Mohéli Island in Comoros located deep in the Indian Ocean.

The plane believed to be a Cessna Caravan is owned by Fly Zanzibar Limited but had been leased to a Comorian carrier, AB Aviation and was flying from Moroni, the capital city of Comoros to the city of Fomboni when the accident occurred.

Tanzania’s current Ambassador to Comoros, Pereira Ame Silima, confirmed the crash and said efforts to locate the plane’s passengers and pilots were ongoing, “So far, only some of the plane wreckage has been found. Rescue teams continue with the search,” he said.

The pilots, both from Zanzibar, have been identified as Ashraf Abdalla and Edy Mazrui. The passengers are all from Comoros.

AB Aviation revealed the plane disappeared from radar about 2.5 kilometres from its destination, with the cause of the accident still unknown. Reports said rescuers were looking for survivors, but their work was being hampered by unfavourable weather.

The Zanzibar State Minister, Dr Khalid Salum Mohamed, communicated a development that deep-sea diving experts from Comoros, France, and Madagascar had been deployed.

He also pleaded with members of the respective families to remain patient and calm as the search continues.

The Island Nation’s transport ministry said debris believed to be of the aircraft had been found. It added that an operation was being conducted to recover the debris from the ocean.

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